Gallery 310, September 3rd – 14th, 2018

Flagging Film, Filming Flags Reflections on Obsolescence and Cinephemera

Starting with a short 16mm film about the making of the Canadian Flag and a famous aphorism by one of Canada’s most influential thinkers, this show reflected on the meaning of analogue film in the digital age, and its survival/revival as a medium.

“Obsolescence never meant the end of anything. It’s just the beginning.”
(Marshall McLuhan)

Among the different cinephemera on display such as a Moviola, a film splicer, film reels and a synchronizer, was a digital version of the 1965 16 mm film Flags of Canada, a well-preserved publicity film for United Flags, the company that makes the Canadian flag (4 minutes). On the wall were seven original digital colour prints of photographs taken of this film on the Steenbeck (an analogue 16mm editing table) with various movement and zoom techniques as to evoke the sense of ephemerality.

Last but not least, the show featured a short 7 minutes compilation film with excerpts from Picnic in Space, a 1968 film featuring Marshall McLuhan. The latter was presented in black and white, with here and there a red accent reminiscent of the reddish/pink colour of the original film as it faded over time, referring to the original experimental nature and psychedelic feel of the film, the cultural and political ideas expressed in the film, and its status as a Canadian heritage
piece.